Plot: Brady (Garrett Clayton) and his friends love to play pranks, but they don’t humiliate and torment others just for fun, they also seek to profit from their deeds and post their videos online. The group was able to build up a sizable fan base, uploading all kinds of prank calls, some of which were rather dark in tone. Brady doesn’t care about what his pranks do to others however, he just wants to soak in the approval from his fans and no one, even those closest to him, are safe from the pranks. One night however, he keeps getting strange phone calls himself and at first, he assumes it is either one of his friends or an internet stalker trying to spook him. Whoever is on the other end seems to know a lot about Brady, his friends, and their lives, but is it just an elaborate prank to pay back Brady or something far more sinister?
Entertainment Value: A love letter to 90s horror, Don’t Hang Up tries to capture some of the feel of movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, but winds up as a pale imitation. The premise is a good one, as some online pranksters face a big dose of their own medicine, but the material fails to make use of that concept and aims instead for predictable, run of the mill teen horror. The plot twists are fast and frequent, but few of them make much sense or bolster the tension, as they’re just twists for the sake of twists. I do think the pace is good and thanks to a merciful short run time, at least it is over in a flash. I suppose I just wanted more scares or at least tense atmosphere, but instead it is just loud music cues and sudden edits, which at least to me, were done to death here. The cast is even more milquetoast than the script, with basic, forgettable performances by actors who you want to see die, hopefully in the most violent, sick ways possible. I do like the premise, but Don’t Hang Up fails to spark any kind of horror vibes and panders to the teen market, rendering any hope of scares or memorable moments null and void.
No nakedness. A little blood, but no direct, kinetic violence unfolds. A bag is used to suffocate someone, while some mild, struggle related violence happens, but otherwise, just some stains on clothes and skin. This seems to be rated R, but could easily be PG-13 if it wasn’t for language issues. I have no idea why a horror movie would be rated R, then have no sleaze or bloodshed, it seems like an odd choice. This is clearly aimed at teens, but rated for grownups, so who knows. The dialogue is forgettable and bland, which makes sense, given the approach used here. A little douche lingo, but not funny or over the top enough to score any points. No craziness. This movie makes zero effort to stand out or push boundaries, it seems well content to limp along and stick to teen horror conventions.
Overall Insanity: 0/10